Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Limbaugh Manipulative Machine: #7

Is it possible- at all- that Rush Limbaugh doesn't know of the filibuster and that there are 61 Republicans in the United States Senate?

I'm guessing not, although it is possible. Striving on Friday to extend unemployment insurance, save jobs, and extend tax breaks (HR 4213, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Bill), Senate Democrats

failed for the third time in three weeks to defeat a Republican filibuster. As a result, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] is giving up and moving onto other legislative matters. “We can’t pass it until we get some Republicans… It’s up to them,” Reid said.

All Republicans plus Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] voted “no” today on a “cloture motion” to end a Republican filibuster and move forward on debate of the bill. Cloture motions require 60 votes to be approved under Senate rules. That means that Republicans were able to sink the bill despite having only 41 votes today in the 100-seat Senate.

The process is a little complicated but the arithmetic isn't. Republicans filibuster. "Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn" (60 if no vacancies, as currently the situation) needed to defeat a filibuster. 59 Democrats (including Lieberman and Sanders, both part of the Democratic caucus) and 41 Republicans in the Senate. All Republicans (40 of 41) present voted nay; all Democrats but two (one voting nay, one absent) voted in favor. If Nebraska's Ben Nelson had voted in favor, rather than against, cloture, Democrats would have had 58 votes; if, additionally, West Virginia's Robert Byrd had voted, the Democrats would have had 59 votes for cloture. They still would have needed one Republican to vote to cut off the filibuster to reach 60 and thus succeed.

The bill was defeated by the GOP. Period. But not to Rush Limbaugh, who the day after remarked

There's a story in the stack today, the Senate shot down this latest stimulus bill, the so-called $100 billion jobs bill, and it ends unemployment benefits for a lot of Americans. This is because of the pressures of reelection. However, I want you to listen to how the Associated Press presents this: "Republicans Kill Jobless Aid Measure in Senate." The Republicans can't kill anything. It's a damn lie. How can the Republicans kill a bill? They can't kill anything. They don't have the votes to kill anything. All they can do is kill themselves, which some might argue that they're doing a halfway decent job of. But they can't kill legislation. And yet look at this headline: "Republicans Kill Jobless Aid --" it's a damnable lie.

Does Rush not know it's not "a damnable lie" but objective fact? Is it possible for someone to be on the air bloviating about politics 3 hours each weekday, 5 days most weeks, 40+ weeks a year, over two decades and believe that 60 votes are necessary to pass some bills- and that Democrats have only 59 votes by themselves?

I doubt it, which, ironically, would make "a damnable lie" a lie.

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